Your Virtual World Can Save You Real Life Bucks

But before you start getting online coupons there is something you need to know

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Deal or no deal? Joining an online coupon group is the newest way to save money, but there is something you have to watch out for. (Published Monday, Nov 8, 2010)

    Out of the growing necessity to save some “green,” online discount communities are popping up at a breakneck pace.

    Groupon.com  is a thriving example of this discount distributor model. The site sells coupons to its users, saving them cash on a number of different goods and services.
    Sure, this seems a bit more high-tech than snipping out coupons from your Saturday circulars. But there is a warning. These online coupons have their own set of limits and restrictions. You have to make sure you read the fine print. There could be some limitations.
    “Turns out, people are really not using some of the deals they are buying,” Yael Gavish, CEO of Lifesta.com told NBCNewYork.com.
    Her site lifesta.com acts as a marketplace for people to sell unused deals. She says twenty to forty percent of discounts go unclaimed. She often encounters users who jump on a discount without reading the fine print, later finding out they’re ineligible for the markdown. Other reasons are more circumstantial. A coupon for a couple’s activity may not be so valuable to someone in the midst of a messy break up.
    Pushkart.com is a site that puts a spin on the typical web coupon merchant. They offer a service that links discounts to your online presence. They take a survey of your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media and evaluate your “Social Networth.” The higher your value, the better the discounts. It offers a way for businesses to integrate into the social media culture – when you redeem a coupon; Pushkart passes the savings on to your friends and followers.
    Whether it’s through your Smartphone, web browser, or latest tweet a discount hunter should remember to stay vigilant. Read the fine print, check the terms, and you’ll prevent a possible coupon catastrophe.